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Full text of "My Country And My People"

270          MY   COUNTRY   AND   MY   PEOPLE

Gladhov's Cment (three translations], Ognyov's Diary of a
Communist Schoolboy (three translations), Artzybashev's Sanine
(three translations), the various works of Serafimovitch and
Pilniak, the plays of Shishkov, Ivanov and the critical works
of Lunacharsky.

This seems a very large meal for Young China to devour, and

if digestion is not perfect, Young China cannot be blamed. No

wonder that Hawthorne and Anatole France are hopelessly

out of date. The authorities are rubbing their eyes now and

doing something about it. What they can do and what will be

the outcome no one can foretell. Censorship is easy and has

been applied lately. What is not so easy is to give people a

sense of satisfaction with the state of things. This can be done

in three ways. The first is to give many of these writers good

jobs, which proves sometimes effective. The second is to forbid

them to say that they are dissatisfied, which is, of course, foolish.

And the third is to make the things really satisfactory for the

nation, which censorship alone cannot do.   The nation is

divided between optimists and pessimists, with the latter in the

majority. But unless there is a great deal of constructive work

and honest thinking and critical balance, the mere worship of

slogans and pompous verbosity will not give China a new state,

whether communist or fascist The older generation who want

to shtint China back to the old track of Confucianism, including

the seclusion of women and the worship of "chaste widowhood,"

will only estrange the sympathies of Young China. At the

same time, the communist idealist, with a volume of Karl

Marx under his arm and unkempt hair on his head and smoking

a Russian cigarette and perpetually fulminating against

somebody, will not bring China into salvation. Literature, I

suspect, is still a pastime of the littrtfi, old and new.